I was Amelia Earhart (Jane Mendelsohn)

I can read a lot, find little bits of interest in a story and have inspiration to carry on. This story, although cleverly written just isn’t one I’d want to re-read.

This short (150 or so pages) novel is a ficticious idea of how Amelia Earharts final flight may have ended. Ficticious is the key word, don’t expect a history lesson here. The fiction part is fine, the lack of historic detail is what I found tedious. The lack of detail is actually a part of the style. It’s written as if it’s Amelia herself writing notes in a journal. It flips from first person to third person, stunted short sentences throughout and detail frequently missed. It gave me the impression it wasn’t researched quite well enough but perhaps that was a side effect of the style. For example, Amelia and her navigator crash their twin engined aircraft onto an island. The island is described as having a coral reef flat around it, and it’s that on which they landed. In fact, the whole landing part was missed out and their plane appeared to have landed well enough to be able to take off again later in the story. For some reason, although they would wade out to the aeroplane it was never affected by the tide. The navigator made a device to convert salt water into drinkable water, but the device was never described. I guess an evaporator of some sorts but solar or above a fire? Perhaps the lack of detail was purely because of the writing style the author chose, in my own notes I take a lot of things for granted too.

I’m not sad that I read the story but should I ever get Rootie Ratings going, this would get 1 out of 5 (thinking zero would mean I think it should never have been published, 1 would mean it did the job of filling some time).

Observation: Maybe no-one else would notice but the back cover “this book is great” statement (they all have one after all) came from the Guardian’s cheif book review editor (or similar, i forget now and I don’t have the book with me) and inside the author review said she writes for a paper called the Guardian.

Tuesday's War (David Fiddimore)

I want to email this author and tell him he’s a bastard.

With my well known interest in all things aviation you could expect me to enjoy a book based around the times of a Lancaster bomber crew serving in World War 2. However, I would have loved this book if it had been set in a factory – it’s about the crew, their experiences, their relationships and the impact of one unusual woman on the crew. The detail of the lifestyle of the aircrew is complete down to an 8 berth hut with an inadequate coal burner for heat. The woman in question was called Grace, the name of the book comes from what the crew name their new bomber “Tuesdays Child” (from the poem with the lines “Tuesdays child is full of grace”). Grace does far more than influence the name of the bomber.

The book is superbly written, a joy to read and full of detail that makes the characters come to life. The ending itself was so well crafted if it were art it would be attributed to one of the great masters. Charlie Bassett, the radio operator who narrates us through the story, appears for one small chapter after at the end of the book many years after the war . Charlie says many things to close the story, though he never tells us what happens to Grace and although I think it’s hinted at, I really wanted it to be a clear and happy ending.

Yes, I want to tell this author he’s a bastard because I have a feeling other books will struggle to finish with the same standard of pleasure. I guess sometimes a vague ending is the best ending after all. Definately worth reading.

J'apprends Franais!

Mercredi soir, j’attendais Canterbury Christchurch University pour apprends franais. Depuis douze ans depuis j’apprends franais a l’cole. A l’cole j’tudie le “A/S”, peut tre un ‘demi baccalaurat’.

Pour moi, la grammar est difficile en anglais et en plus difficile en franais! Masculine/feminine, “tu ton tes” (je pense?). Maintenant je connais en plus de nouveau mot franais aprs seulement une semaine.

A l’cole, j’achte un livre “Jochim a des enuis” (peut tre “jochim es les enfant?”) – un livre pour les enfant je pense, mais pour moi c’tait trs difficile. Peut tre aprs mon tude (en douze semaine) je peux lire un autre livre franais.

J’espre cet est lisible pour tout person franais! Utilise la “comments” sil vous plat! (En franais aussi, pour aidez mon tudie).

Je trouve “Joachim a des ennuis” a amazon!

Addition deux!
Merci pour google “spellcheck”! Je voudrais le google “grammarcheck” aussi!